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Belzebubs - Pantheon of the Nightside Gods Award winner

Pantheon of the Nightside Gods
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 25 May 2019, 1:26 AM

From their Facebook page, “BELZEBUBS is a “trve kvlt documentary in comic strip form. We warmly welcome you to join our ranks and dwell in deeper into the very (non-existent?) soul of black metal.” “Pantheon of the Nightside Gods” is the band’s debut album, and contains eleven tracks.

“Cathedrals of Mourning” leads off the album, with dark and ominous keyboards. When the main riff hits, it hits hard, with thunderous drumming, deep and dark vocals, and a nice steady presence from the guitars. It reminds me of the commanding presence of INSOMNIUM, but with a slightly Black Metal feeling to it as well. “The Faustian Alchemist” opens with pretty and frail piano notes, until the main riff comes in, pounding everything around it. They keys keep a steady but subtle feeling in the background, and it makes for a more complete sound. “Blackened Call” opens with a solemn but regal sound. The vocals rage, and he sounds a bit like Niilo Sevanan in his vocal cadence and his vocal quality as well. The guitars build layers with harmonic parts.

“Acheron” opens with soft strings and some wonderful background ambiance. You feel like you took the first step out of your spacecraft into the vast universe. Piano add another element to this wonderful sound. The sound drops back around ¾ of the way in, before returning with a firey intensity that could melt faces. Something about the way this song comes together is just absolutely majestic. “Nam Gloria Lucifer” opens with a dark guitar riff and the feeling that something is out there in the night. It’s a mid-tempo song that really breathes, allowing you to feel the music as if it was tactile and something you can touch. You reach out and grab it, and it sucks your soul from your body.

“The Crowned Daughters” opens with light clean guitars while haunting melodies fill the background. When the main riff hits, it sends goosebumps down my spine. I haven’t heard anything this beautifully sad in some time. Clean vocals bring another layer to this wondrous track. “Dark Mother” is the longest song on the album, at over nine minutes in length. It is pretty intense from the opening note, moving swiftly, and reminds of the Symphonic Black Metal band KATHAROS. It shifts and builds along the way, every note in the right place. An absolutely brilliant guitar solo caps off this epic piece. “The Werewolf Bride” opens with a solemn and lumbering pace so that each and every note can pound you into oblivion. The guitars in this song are impeccable. It really creates this rich texture that is threaded throughout the track.

“Pantheon of the Nightside Gods” is another length piece, at close to nine minutes. It opens with solemn piano notes and a melancholy feeling, like watching the last leave of a cold fall season fall from a tree and silently land on the ground in front of you. Clean vocals create a majestic feeling in the chorus. A haunting ambient passage puts a smile on your face. “Nuns in the Purgatory” opens with church-like chanting. Flirty and positive sounding, there is something so simply beautiful about the sound here. “Maleficarum – The Veil of the Moon Queen Pt. 1” closes the album. Heavy tones at the bottom combine with light strings over the top. The beautiful sound continues but rides the fine line between darkness and light so perfectly that you can feel purgatory.

Overall, this was a phenomenal debut album from BELZEBUBS that has everything a true Metalhead would want on an album. There are moments of deep, raging intensity…real fire and brimstone stuff, moments of ambient beauty so alluring they bring tears to your eyes, and moments of grandeur steeper than the highest mountain peak. Every note and every individual piece fits together with a synergy that I haven’t heard to date this year. The production is as clear as a bell. This is a must-have album that you cannot do without.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Cathedrals of Mourning
2. The Faustian Alchemist
3. Blackened Call
4. Acheron
5. Nam Gloria Lucifer
6. The Crowned Daughters
7. Dark Mother
8. The Werewolf Bride
9. Pantheon of the Nightside Gods
10. Nuns in the Purgatory
11. Maleficarum – The Veil of the Moon Queen Pt. 1
Sløth – Guitars & Vocals
Hubbath – Bass & Vocals
Obesyx – Lead Guitar
Samaël – Drums & Percussion
Record Label: Century Media Records


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Edited 01 April 2023

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